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July 21, 2013

Recipe for slow cooker Sloppy Joe beef quesadillas

Slow cooker Sloppy Joe beef quesadillas. So easy!

Some dishes will never win a beauty contest. These slow cooker Sloppy Joe beef quesadillas may not take the swimsuit competition, but oh, they are good. And, like real Sloppy Joes, they're sufficiently messy to eat. You can cook the meat ahead of time, in your slow cooker, and freeze it in portions to fill quesadillas, tacos or burritos, whenever you want them. Add something green -- chopped avocado, lettuce, cilantro leaves -- or serve them with nothing more than melted cheese, and a bit of salsa on top. Summer should be just that easy.

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July 7, 2013

Recipe for egg and cheese casserole with broccoli, leeks, bell pepper and feta {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Breakfast, lunch or supper: egg and cheese casserole with broccoli and feta.

Why don't we cook with leeks more often? There's no denying that every egg and cheese casserole benefits from some onion undertone, but that doesn't always have to come from an actual onion. Shallots, scallions, chives, leeks: each of these alliums lends a particular pizzazz to eggs. Of all, leeks are the sweetest, the most gentle, the most subtle. And, yes, they are the most labor-intensive, thanks to an edible root that sometimes traps soil between the paper-thin layers. Really, though, leeks are easy to prepare for cooking, and they're absolutely worth the work. Trim off the green leaves, and cut off the root. Slice the leek lengthwise, halfway through. Under cold running water, peel back the layers slightly to rinse out any dirt trapped between them, then slice or dice for your recipe. Serve this broccoli, leek, red pepper and feta egg and cheese casserole for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or a light supper. It comes together in less than an hour, or you can make it ahead and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.

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July 2, 2013

Recipe for slow cooker sweet coffee flank steak nachos {gluten-free}

Slow cooker sweet coffee flank steak nachos.

In the house where I grew up, there were no nachos. In fact, I can't remember ever having nachos until I went off to college, where my favorite near-campus bar served ooey-gooey-drippy-cheesy nachos with beer and free movies a couple of nights a week. I've eaten my share of nachos since those college days, but I don't make them at home, for the same reason I don't bake brownies every day: much too tempting. However, I've been experimenting a lot with coffee syrup while working on the Rhode Island Recipes cookbook, and when I made this slow cooker sweet coffee flank steak, I couldn't help turning it into these unusual nachos. The meat is so flavorful that you really don't need a lot of toppings, but who am I to stop you if you want to add some guacamole or sour cream?

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June 30, 2013

Recipe for tarragon and roasted red pepper deviled eggs {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Tarragon and roasted red pepper deviled eggs. Light lunch or appetizer.

One of the most reliable perennial herbs in my garden, tarragon arrives early in Spring, alongside the chives. The tender leaves of tarragon impart a faintly licorice flavor, and you either love it or hate it. We love it, especially with eggs, and these tarragon and roasted red pepper deviled eggs make a perfect light lunch. If you're not sure how you feel about tarragon, use half the amount called for in the recipe, and if tarragon isn't your thing, substitute garden-fresh parsley or basil. Of course, deviled eggs always go first at a party, so add these to your repertoire if you're the person others rely on to bring the deviled eggs.

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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